May 3, 2006 – Formosa Komatsu Silicon Corp., a silicon-wafer making venture between Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Group and Japan’s Komatsu Electronic Materials Co. Ltd., plans to start pilot production at its first 300mm wafer fab in November, according to the Taiwan Economic News.
The two firms spent about $225 million last year to build the facility, which will start with output of 50,000 wafers/month. A second phase of production ramp, costing an estimated $459 million, will double capacity to 100,000 wafers/month by 2008. Customers for the JV include Inotera Memories and Formosa’s chip assembly subsidiary, Formosa Advanced Technologies Co. Ltd.
Industry watchers estimate the JV’s revenues at about $156 million/year, with earnings of $31.2 million each of the past two years; the JV has turned a profit since 2001, two years after it began 200mm fab operations.
Komatsu has suggested the JV could be floated to public investment in Taiwan late next year, with Formosa holding up to 60% ownership.